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Ode to the Python Quick Reference (Ruby Needs One!)

16 replies on 2 pages. Most recent reply: Feb 15, 2008 8:57 PM by Elizabeth Wiethoff

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Eivind Eklund

Posts: 49
Nickname: eeklund2
Registered: Jan, 2006

Re: Ode to the Python Quick Reference (Ruby Needs One!) Posted: Nov 7, 2007 9:47 AM
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> Ruby needs more than maturity. It could use some
> orthogonality and simplicity. I attended a Ruby tutorial
> at OOPSLA last week and came away disgusted. Why would
> anyone invent a language that was a combination of Perl
> and SmallTalk? The presenter showed five substantively
> different ways of writing a factorial function. So much
> for readability. Someone please tell me why I would want
> to use Ruby instead of Python.

Because most everybody that knows both prefers Ruby as a language (and Python's ecosystem, as in 'batteries included' and the PQR, faster interpreter, and so on.)

I personally don't do Python, so I can't say much about it as a direct comparison - but I can say that the different ways of writing things in Ruby generally help me rather than hinder me. They let me write a good, readable solution for the particular problem I have right now, rather than forcing me to use a particular solution that sort-of-fits all over.

The best advice I have is "try it". Learn enough Ruby to be able to use it well, and then see what you like. Even if you don't use Ruby afterwards, you'll likely have learned some idioms that will help you write good code in whatever language you do choose to code in.

Eivind.

Elizabeth Wiethoff

Posts: 89
Nickname: ewiethoff
Registered: Mar, 2005

Re: Ode to the Python Quick Reference (Ruby Needs One!) Posted: Feb 15, 2008 8:57 PM
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Zen Spider's Ruby QuickRef is very handy, but it doesn't do everything I need. Meanwhile, I find Ruby's RDoc-generated documentation unbearably frustrating.

So I got inspired and began creating my own "Ruby API Guide" (http://mysite.verizon.net/hpassel/rubyguide/). It still has a ways to go. For example, I'd like to list some stuff by category, not just alphabetically. Plus I need to write more about the standard library.

My Ruby guide is nowhere near as thorough as the PQR, but I find myself using it a lot. It's the place I start when I want to look up how to do something in Ruby.

Thanks for the inspiration, Bruce.

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